This post first appeared on our instagram, 27 August 2018.
Our co-facilitator, Fadiah, thought this quote by Audre Lorde captured aptly how she felt about the session. Here are her thoughts:
“Although we started out with the premise of dealing with trauma stemming from toxic religious experiences, such as coercion, shaming and moral policing, we saw that many of our struggles are intersectional.
We can’t speak of religious authoritarianism in the Muslim family without discussing the problem of male authority and privilege. We can’t begin to speak of the multiple levels of abuse without speaking of problems of institutions (political, religious and cultural) which uphold patriarchy and protect the perpetrators. It’s an unending process of disempowerment, and many women who are victims of abuse end up normalizing and even defending the institutions that only serve to harm them.
So where do we go from here? I believe, for starters, we as women should start creating spaces and building communities of support. These spaces have to be free from judgment, hierarchy and elitism. There is strength from mutual support and aid. It helps us not to only affirm ourselves, but also to help us draw boundaries, both spatial and emotional, from those who hurt us the most. Even if it's only about making life at least a bit more liveable.”